The uncertainties and difficulties brought on by the pandemic continue to bring stress to so many people. A lot has changed since COVID-19 spread around the world, from the way we dress (wearing masks is now considered part of dressing etiquette) to the way we socialize (face-timing instead of meeting up with friends in bars after work).
One of the biggest changes we’ve had to do is to shift from working at the office to working from home. This has become the new norm for people working in corporate setups, BPOs, and other industries that are mostly Internet-based. Rather than put workers’ health at risk by requiring them to come to the office, employers allow their employees to work from the comfort and safety of their homes.
The Problem with Working from Home
Working from home is convenient and necessary, but it also has some disadvantages. Some of them, ironically, are health-related.
Staying cooped up in your bedroom or indoor office — tucked in the deepest, quietest part of the house — all day, all week can be detrimental to your health.
- There are days when you don’t get direct sunlight at all.
- You breathe in stale, recycled, indoor air all the time.
- The isolation is making you sad, depressed, worried, and anxious.
- Your eyes are strained from spending many consecutive hours staring at the computer screen.
- Work and relaxation hours merge, leading to mental, emotional, and physical fatigue.
These are varied issues that cannot all be solved with one solution. However, we can offer a way to alleviate some problems while giving a solid answer for specific issues, and that is to use a garden room as an office.
Got a Garden Room? Turn It into Your Office.
The purpose of garden rooms is to bring you closer to nature or to bring nature into your home. This is why when we design garden rooms, we develop an enclosed structure that matches the architecture of the property. Our garden rooms have glass walls and roofs and special features (e.g., heating and cooling, automatic watering systems) that create an environment conducive to plant growth. You can, therefore, have a conventional greenhouse or a fully-functional sitting room filled with flowering shrubs and potted greenery — the perfect garden room office.
Working Amidst Nature: A Healthy Way to Cope with Remote Work Stress
A widely cited study was conducted about the impact of indoor plants on the health of office workers. The two-year experiment involved 60 office workers, who were later observed to have symptoms like headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, cough, eye irritation, stuffy nose, and skin problems.
The researchers placed plants all over the workspaces of half the subjects: small plants on window sills and large plants on the floors near desks. They then switched the arrangements after a year, removing the plants from the first group’s area and transferring them to the second group’s workspaces.
The researchers then compared the symptoms the two groups manifested when the plants were present and when the plants were removed from their workspaces.
The results showed that office workers experienced less of all the symptoms above when they were surrounded by plants. Cough symptoms had the highest reduction (by 37%), followed by fatigue (30%) and dry throat (25%).
This study provided evidence that working amidst nature, or at least having plants near your workplace, can vastly improve your working conditions health-wise. Many recent studies also reinforced these findings:
- Employees in green offices are more productive.
- Keeping a small plant on the work desk can reduce stress and improve mental health at work.
- A nature experience, I.e., going out for a walk through a park, can improve cognitive function and working memory.
An Investment for Your Health and Well-Being
If you’ve been contemplating adding a garden room to your home, whether attached or a standalone in your property, now is the best time to make it happen. The COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to die down soon, so you can look forward to more months (or years) of working from home. It will benefit you to have the option to work surrounded by nature and still enjoy the comforts of a formal office.
Talk to our designers at Conservative Craftsmen, and let’s make your ideas for a garden room come to life.